Twitch suffers biggest viewership drop in years in November 2022, but why?

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Twitch’s viewership is at its lowest point since September 2020, with the platform as a whole racking up less than 1.7 billion hours watched in November 2022. The 10% drop between October and now is the biggest since June 2021, but why’s that the case?

Twitch has seen rapid growth since the beginning of 2020. With people locked in their homes, more took to the Amazon-owned streaming platform to pass the time, either showcasing their own lives or joining the chat of someone else to get some much-needed socialization.

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Across the last two years, the platform has experienced rapid growth. However it’s starting to plateau, with the latest stats in November highlighting a potential reversal. 

Twitch’s viewership stats for the last month are the lowest they’ve been since September 2020, with 1.69 billion hours of content watched in November. It’s still significantly higher than the 1 billion hours boasted in January and February 2020, but it’s part of a noted decline.

The 10% drop in viewership from October to November is the biggest since June 2021’s 15% fall. 

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If you fear this is going to be the end of Twitch though, maybe hang off the conspiracy talk.

twitch stats graphicTwitch’s stats are at its lowest since mid-2020, but it’s not all doom and gloom.

It’s not the first time Twitch’s viewership has fluctuated like this at the end of the year. November 2021 faced a similar fate of a 10.3% decline from October’s numbers, although the overall figure of 1.81 billion is a decent chunk higher.

November is typically a slower month on the platform. There’s American holidays to worry about, like Thanksgiving. Esports events like Dota 2’s The International, CS:GO Majors, and League of Legends’ World Championship typically end, so esports viewership is down. In 2022, the Worlds final took place in November, and so too the Rio CS:GO Major — both of which set records.

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While major game releases can spur some upticks in performance, like God of War: Ragnarok and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II for this year, there are typically less viewers to go around at this time.

There are some growing pains that are hard to ignore. Twitch’s stance on creator pay has seen many top talents leave the platform for its biggest rival in YouTube Gaming. 

Some smaller creators, who have kept ticking things over, have stopped as a result ⁠— the platform has only around a million Affiliate and Partner streamers now, down from its peak of 1.25 million in January this year. The average number of channels live at any one time is the lowest it’s been since April 2020, sitting around 88,000.

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There are some other fingers that could be pointed. The platform’s gambling ban, while praised by a majority of viewers, basically killed one of its most popular categories across the last two years in Slots. The increase in harassment and hate raids could have turned off some users, although Twitch is attempting to combat this with new solutions for streamers.

There’s a whole myriad of reasons why Twitch’s viewership is at its lowest point since mid-2020, just as the streaming space was taking off into the stratosphere. It’s obvious based on last year growth has plateaued, but it will only be a matter of time before it takes off again.

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